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Viral image edited to show Hitler holding bible

June 4, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: An old photo of Adolf Hitler shows him holding up a bible in front of a crowd, similar to how U.S. President Donald Trump held a bible in front of a church Monday. 

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The photo has been edited to show Hitler holding a bible. In the original photo, he is raising his hand in response to children saluting him. 

THE FACTS: Social media users are widely circulating an old photo of Hitler, edited to show him holding a black book that people claim is a bible. 

The posts of the manipulated photo are being used to compare Hitler to Trump, after law enforcement forcefully cleared peaceful protests at Lafayette Park in Washington with tear gas and flash bangs on Monday. After the protesters were forcibly cleared, Trump walked from the White House Rose Garden to St. John’s Church where he stood in front of cameras and raised a black-covered Bible for reporters to see. The church was damaged in a protest fire the night before. 

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Trump’s actions sparked bipartisan criticism, with some on social media comparing him to the German dictator, using the false photo. 

“Spot the difference between Hitler and Trump,” one Twitter user wrote, sharing a photo of Trump with the bible next to the manipulated image of Hitler. 

The original photo of Hitler, which is archived by Getty Images, was taken in the 1930s by Heinrich Hoffman. It shows Hitler, dressed in a Nazi uniform, raising the palm of his hand while surrounded by a crowd of children who are raising the Nazi salute to him. 

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536